Stone Soup

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it. Simple way to lose weight and be healthier.

It was once told to me about three soldiers who tramped down the road, returning home from war. They were hungry, so they planned to stop in the nearest village to ask for some food. But the villagers had seen them coming. The country-folk had had enough of soldiers coming and taking their food, so they had hidden it — down the well, up the chimney, in the cellar, in the attic. The soldiers knocked on door after door, but each cottager said the same thing: “We are poor people, good sirs. We have no food for our children, let alone you three.” The three soldiers huddled in the town square and whispered to each other. Then loudly they said, “These poor people have nothing to eat! We will help them to fill their bellies. We will make our magical Stone Soup for them.”

The villagers peeked out of doors and windows, asking “What could they mean?” They watched in amazement as two of the soldiers brought some rounded stones from the brook and washed them under the pump. The third soldier called out, “Who will lend us a cauldron so that we can prepare the soup? And who will provide some fire wood?” The items were quickly provided, a fire was lighted, the cauldron was filled with 2 quarts of water, and put over the flames. “And now the magic begins!” announced the soldiers. Everyone watched as they put the stones in the water. Everyone wondered how soup could be made from stones and water.

“M-m-m-m! It smells good,” opined one of the soldiers. “Do you remember that soup we made in Grosswaldstadt and how good it tasted? If only we had 4 ounces of carrots, the way we did there…”

A woman shyly came out of her house and handed them some carrots from those hidden in her cellar. They were cut up in no time.

Another soldier rejoined, “Then there was the soup we made in Yffinac — the one with the parsnips and cabbage. That was really delicious.”

A woman hurried out of her house with 4 ounces of parsnips which she had hidden in the woodshed. Not to be out-done, her neighbor rushed over with 4 ounces of cabbage which had been secreted up the chimney.

In Siena,” one soldier hinted broadly, ” we added some beef.” With that, the butcher’s wife ran off to retrieve some meat which had been hidden down in the well.

“If only we had some ….” would no sooner be said, than it appeared: a hand-full of herbs; 4 oz green beans; 4 oz red potatoes; 4 oz red beans; 4 oz spinach leaves; salt, and pepper. That was the wondrous part: food the villagers said they didn’t have seemed to appear magically and then disappear into the simmering water.

At last the soup was done. Everyone gathered ’round with bowls and spoons — not forgetting a bowl for each of the soldiers-turned-chefs. The baker’s wife hurried to get some sourdough rye bread which she ‘just remembered’ was up in her attic. Everyone ate soup and bread. Everyone congratulated the soldiers on their marvelous soup. And everyone learned that if we work together, everyone is better for it.

This is my retelling of a story that was first recorded in 1720, in France by Madame de Noyer. The tale has been told and re-told: in England, in America, everywhere that there are children to be entertained. If you are in the company of children during the holidays, read the story with them while you prepare the soup together. The soup yields 8 one-cup servings.

Tomorrow, December 26, is the Feast of St. Stephen. He was killed by being stoned, so it seems fitting to put stones to the more pacific purpose of making soup today. Most cooked soups benefit from being prepared the day before.

Per cup: 125 calories 1.4 g fat 4 g fiber 7.5 g protein 21.5 g carbs [ALL Complex] 55.6 mg Calcium 1 oz sourdough-rye bread: 72 calories 0 g fat 1.2 g fiber 2.4 g protein 14.5 g carbs

Ingredients for next week: Breakfast, single portion for Monday ……… single portion for Thursday:

apple + melon + almond meal 2 dinners next week
deglet noor date + plum
cider syrup or plum canning syrup
cinnamon + plain yogurtdried green split peas
Optional smoothiebacon + thyme
optional hot beverage

Dinner, single portion for Monday: …….. single portion for Thursday:

chicken thigh + chicken broth oil + chicken breast + broccoli
deglet noor datesItalian pepper + zucchini
quick-cooking barley + watermelon corn tortillas, ~70 calories each
hawayij spicechili powder + Adobo + red onion
Sparkling waterSparkling water

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